This article is free to access.
Background: Symptomatic pituitary metastasis is rare; furthermore, it can result in diabetes insipidus and panhypopituitarism. Since diabetes insipidus is masked by concurrent panhypopituitarism, it can impede the diagnosis of pituitary dysfunction. Case presentation: A 68-year-old Japanese female suffering from pituitary and thalamic metastases caused by untreated breast cancer, underwent a biopsy targeting the thalamus, not the pituitary. She lacked prebiopsy pituitary dysfunction symptoms; however, these symptoms unexpectedly occurred after biopsy. Diabetes insipidus was masked by corticosteroid insufficiency, and she showed normal urinary output and plasma sodium levels. Upon commencement of glucocorticoid replacement therapy, the symptoms of diabetes insipidus appeared. Conclusions: In this case, thalamic biopsy, as opposed to pituitary biopsy, was performed to preserve pituitary function. However, pituitary dysfunction could not be avoided. Caution is necessary for asymptomatic patients with pituitary metastases as invasive interventions, such as surgery, may induce pituitary dysfunction. Moreover, with respect to masked diabetes insipidus, there is a need to carefully consider pituitary dysfunction to avoid misdiagnosis and delayed treatment.
Hashimoto, H., Maruo, T., Nakamura, M., Ushio, Y., Hirata, M., & Kishima, H. (2022). Masked diabetes insipidus in pituitary metastasis from breast cancer after thalamic biopsy: a case report. Journal of Medical Case Reports, 16(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13256-021-03229-y